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The drive to win

Californians shine at AMHA World Show

From Horsetrader staff reports - November 1st, 2012 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — October is a time of year Elaine Olsen can expect to reminisce on her Vermont roots, but not for the autumn leaves — it’s the Morgan Horses. The American Morgan Horse Association assembles its finest each year for the eight-day AMHA World Championship and Grand National Horse Show, and for Olsen, a New England transplant who along with husband Ted settled in Coto De Caza in 1985, it’s a bit of a homecoming.

“My husband and I are both originally from Vermont, so the Morgan breed has kind of taken me full circle back to New England,” says Olsen, owner and driver of the 2012 AMHA Classic Pleasure Driving World Champion, Stonecroft Notorious. “Last summer I did some of the New England shows and visited Vermont again — it was a big, full circle. It was wonderful. I am running into people that I grew up with — it really is quite a gift.”

Olsen, who keeps her three competitive Morgans in training with Eric Entman and Austin Eversman at her new Deer Springs Equestrian facility in San Marcos, was one of several Californians who finished high in the ribbons at the 40th edition of the AMHA’s signature event, held Oct. 6-13 at Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. More than 1,000 of the world’s finest Morgan horses from across the U.S., Canada and Europe vied in more than 300 classes for $400,000-plus in prize money.

Howard Schatzberg photo

Two-year-old Causing Chaos, trained and bred by Ann Miller for owners Caprice Soltice and Matthew Wilbur, won AMHA World Champion Mare honors in Oklahoma City.

“It was a thrill,” says Olsen, who despite growing up surrounded by Morgans in the breed’s home state, did not have one until six years ago. Instead she showed Warmbloods in dressage, reaching fourth level Prix St. George before moving West. “The horses really brought me back home, so to speak.”

“And the Morgan Grand National is just such a tremendoud horse show, even if you didn’t know anything about Morgans,” she adds. “It’s such a well-done, beautiful show, and you get to see people once a year to catch up on news and see all the new horses they are bringing along — it’s quite an event.”

A star in-hand at this year’s Grand National was Causing Chaos, a 2-year-old filly owned by Caprice Soltice and Matthew Wilbur that was named AMHA World Grand Champion Mare. Causing Chaos (Hollybrook Stage Rage x Mantic Mardi Gras) also took the 2-year-old Mare World Championship Futurity class.

“It was pretty exciting,” says the breeder and trainer of the filly, Ann Miller of Miller Equestrian at Valle Vista Farm in Escondido.

Miller owns Mantic Mardi Gras, the Hall of Fame mare who also produced the three-time consecutive AMHA World Grand Champion Mare (2003-05), Long Acres Broadway.

Howard Schatzberg photo

Elaine Olsen and her stallion, SYP High Definition, take a Reserve World Championship at the 2012 American Morgan Horse Association Grand National and World Championship Show held Oct. 6-13 in Oklahoma City.

Another World Champion from Miller’s barn was 10-year-old Katie Myron of Rancho Santa Fe, who brilliantly competed in the 11-and-under Saddle Seat Classic Equitation aboard Festival Sundance in her first AMHA World Championship Show. In fact, Myron had only ridden “Sunny D” as the 16-year-old mare is called, for three months.

“Katie worked real hard for that Championship,” says Miller. “She is has a lot of focus, that girl.”

Katie’s supportive mom, Kathlene, says her daughter’s path to the saddle seat equitation began with hunter-jumper lessons, moved to barrel racing on her Quarter Horse, then landed with Miller in January of this year and began riding a Morgan.

“They are so versatile,” Kathlene says. “You can do hunt seat or show in Western and saddleseat. The versatility and being able to use one horse was a big attracton to us.”

Next year, Katie will ride a new horse, Slam Dunk, brought home from the World Championship Show.

Founded in 1909, the American Morgan Horse Association is a non-profit organization serving more than 50,000 Morgan horse owners, breeders, exhibitors, and enthusiasts throughout the United States. AMHA serves as a parent organization to more than 90 recognized Morgan horse clubs and national service organizations. It also provides an important link to foreign Morgan horse registries and clubs.

Working in conjunction with AMHA is the American Morgan Horse Institute (AMHI), a charitable organization dedicated to educations and historical Morgan activities. One of the activities of the AMHI is conducting the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show, the breed’s premier show.

MORE ONLINE: http://www.morganhorse.com/competitions/show_results/

One comment has been made on “The drive to win”

  1. MarryL Says:

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